Wednesday, March 18, 2009

As Time Goes By

My uncle is a Fox News watcher. He's a old, white conservative of the standard Kentucky issue. (Just as a frame of reference, he joined the navy in 1946.) He's as right-wing, pro-'Merican as they come.

So, I was shocked when I visited Aunt and Uncle not too long ago, to find the tube tuned to PBS. Bemused (after the shock wore off) I asked, "Whatcha watchin'?"

"Summer Wine," he said. "My show's next," my aunt added, "I love that Hyacinth." Not only were they watching that pinko, lefty station, they were watching a British sitcoms on PBS! They were referring to The Last of the Summer Wine and Keeping Up Appearances; the main character on the latter is Hyacinth Bucket (she insists "Bucket" to be pronounced "bouquet"–great name!).

Now, I adore a certain britcom that I discovered via PBS. Though I'm sure I am thirty-plus years younger than the target audience, I have always loved As Time Goes By. The acting and scripting amazed me from the first time I saw it. The writing was so unlike sitcoms in the U.S. The scripts were tight and clever but very patient. The characters were well drawn and realistically quirky, and they are performed so believably. (I suppose having a true actor–Judi Dench–starring helps; we Yanks tend to cast stand-up comics in the lead roles…)

Seeing that I rarely have a topic of mutual conversation available, I seized on the moment. I said that, yes, I enjoyed both of their shows. The lady that plays Hyacinth is very funny, I agreed. "The one I really like, though, is As Times Goes By." Aunt immediately says, "that's because you are a romantic."

Screaming through cyberspace, I can hear friends' squealing at this thought. TonyN, a romantic! Ha!

You know what, though, Aunt was dead-on. Though I can rationalize my love for that show (writing, acting, etc.), the truth is that the story touched me. The story wasn't sappy or sachrine; it seemed real and beautiful and hopeful. Everyone needs a bit of hope.


Todd Camplin said...

did you every find a recording of that song that matched the signer in the opening credits?

TonyN said...

No, I never did. I really like that version of the song. It such a standard that everyone who records it seem to feel the need to change it up.

Christine Wy said...

I like As Time Goes By too though I rarely watch it. Keeping up Appearances cracks me up. Oddly, we didn't get PBS in Chicago (satelite dish issue), so I guess I'm just not used to watching PBS anymore. I'll tune in... right after Gossip Girl.

Troy Camplin said...

Scratch a cynic and you get a . . . romantic.